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Etna volcano
Complex stratovolcano Currently about 3329 m (changing due to eruptive activity and collapse of its crater rims)
Sicily, Italy, 37.75°N / 14.99°E
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5) Etna volcano eruptions:
Near continuously active; some major historic eruptions include 122 BC (large Plinian outbursts that created the small caldera of the "Cratere del Piano"), 1669 AD (devastating flank eruption that destroyed 15 villages and part of Catania), 1787 (Subplinian eruption and one of the most spectacular summit eruptions on record - lava fountains reportedly up to 3000 m high).
Eruptions since 1950 (f: flank / s: summit activity): 1950 (s), 1950-51(f), 1955 (s), 1956 (s), 1956 (f), 1957 (s),1960 (s), 1961 (s), 1964 (f), 1964 (s), 1966 (s), 1966-1971(s), 1968 (f), 1971(f), 1972-1973 (s), 1974 (f), 1974-1975 (s), 1975-1977 (f), 1977-1978 (s), 1978 (f), 1979(s), 1979 (f), 1980 (s), 1981 (s), 1981 (f),1982-1983 (s), 1983(f), 1984(s), 1985(s), 1985(f), 1986(s), 1986-1987 (f), 1987(s), 1988(s), 1989(s), 1989(f), 1990 (s), 1991-93(f), 1995(s), 1996(s), 1997 (s), 1998 (s), 1999 (s), 2000 (s), 2001(s), 2001 (f), 2002(s), 2002-03(f), 2004-2005 (f), 2006 (s), 2007 (s), 2008-2009 (f), 2010(s), 2011-2013(s), 2014-18, 2018(f), 2019 (s), 2020 (s)
Typical eruption style:
Effusive (lava flows) and mildly explosive (strombolian) eruptions. Both summit and frequent flank eruptions, the latter seem to be occurring in clusters lasting few to a few tens of years.

Etna volcano tours:
Volcanoes of Italy - the Grand Tour (15-days study & walking tour from Vesuvius to Etna)
Etna Trekking Tour (private and group tours to Etna volcano with a mountain guide)
Etna Volcano Special (volcano expedition to see Mt. Etna volcano' eruption)
Etna Discovery (8-days hiking & study tour on Mt. Etna volcano, Italy)
From Stromboli to Etna (9-day walking & study tour to Stromboli, Lipari, Vulcano and Etna with our expert volcanologist)

Etna volcano update: Etna erupts lava fountains over 1000 m high

Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 07:41
07:41 AM | BY: T
Tall lava fountains more than 1000 m high and spectacular eruption column from last night's paroxysm on Etna (image: Giorgio Costa / facebook)
Tall lava fountains more than 1000 m high and spectacular eruption column from last night's paroxysm on Etna (image: Giorgio Costa / facebook)
Lava fountain during the eruption (image: Massimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
Lava fountain during the eruption (image: Massimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
The eruption seen from Linguaglosso on the NE (image: Massimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
The eruption seen from Linguaglosso on the NE (image: Massimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
Thermal image from Nicolosi showing the impressive height of the fountains (image: INGV Catania)
Thermal image from Nicolosi showing the impressive height of the fountains (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Once more, Etna produced a very impressive show of unsurpassed fireworks at night: The - awaited - 5th lava fountaining episode (known as paroxysm) occurred late at night and turned out to be particular violent, equal or even stronger than the previous one 48 hours earlier. It was the 5th in a row during a single week's time!

The events building up to the eruption were quite typical and similar to the previous paroxysms: at first, the until-then intermittent and mild strombolian activity from the New SE crater gradually picked up, starting from around 10 pm local time. At the same time, volcanic tremor started to show a steep increase, sign of magma moving upwards inside the volcano's conduits.
The activity began to turn into sustained lava fountains from around midnight, and continued to increase in intensity. Around 00:30, the activity reached its peak phase with very tall lava fountains surpassing 1000 m height! An impressive eruption column of ash and steam rose to probably more than 10 km altitude and spread into an impressive, near-circular umbrella cloud towering over eastern Sicily.
At around 1:05 am, activity quickly ceased, with a phase of reactivation during approx. 4.40 and 6 am, when a series of strong explosions occurred at the SE crater complex.
Similarly to the previous events, lava flows were erupted to the SW and the east of the New SE crater into Valle del Bove, reaching similar lengths as before.
Image sources:
- Giorgio Costa (facebook)
- Massimo Lo Giudice (facebook)

Previous news

Mon, 22 Feb 2021, 21:42
Intense strombolian activity at the eastern vent of the New SE crater
Yet another phase of lava fountaining, or paroxysms, is almost certainly about to start now. Volcanic tremor has started to rise sharply from low to now already high levels, and strombolian activity at the eastern vent of the New SE crater is becoming more and more intense and near-continuous. ... read all
Sun, 21 Feb 2021, 17:08
View of the eruption at night with its impressive umbrella cloud (image: Massiimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
Last night's eruptive episode of tall lava fountains, known as paroxysm, turned out to be one of the most impressive and powerful in recent years. Not only did it produce higher fire fountains than usually, but also it lasted longer than most other paroxysms. ... read all
Sat, 20 Feb 2021, 22:57
Lava fountain from Etna's New SE crater during the paroxysm on 20-21 Feb 2021 (image: thermal webcam INGV Catania)
The 4th paroxysm within little more than 4 days is occurring at the time of this update! Starting in the evening of 20 Feb 2021, the explosive activity at the New SE crater gradually increased and developed into sustained lava fountains now approx. 300 m tall, and still rising. ... read all

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